New rules for plan­ning pan­els

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

COUN­CILS have un­til Fe­bru­ary 1 to com­ply with changes to De­vel­op­ment As­sess­ment Pan­els (DAPs) that have pro­duced con­tro­ver­sial plan­ning de­ci­sions by­pass­ing the con­cerns of some com­mu­ni­ties and coun­cils across Perth.

“These changes will en­sure the DAP sys­tem re­mains flex­i­ble and re­spon­sive to com­mu­nity ex­pec­ta­tions while con­tin­u­ing to pro­vide the best pos­si­ble plan­ning out­comes for WA,” Plan­ning Min­is­ter Donna Faragher said.

DAPs have ap­proved projects worth about $32 bil­lion, in­clud­ing Perth CBD’s Raine Square and the Mor­ley Gal­le­ria Shop­ping Cen­tre, since their 2011 in­tro­duc­tion.

This year’s changes in­clude de­vel­op­ers be­ing able to leave the DAP process and go to coun­cils for pro­pos­als such as ware­houses, and DAP agen­das be­ing pub­lished at least a week be­fore their meet­ings.

Coun­cils will also be re­quired to tell the pub­lic when a DAP meet­ing is to be held, coun­cil author­ity re­ports to DAPs will have more in­for­ma­tion about why a pro­posal can be ap­proved and DAP mem­bers with­out proper train­ing will be re­moved.

How­ever, the changes are not enough for DAP op­po­nents fight­ing de­ci­sions on projects in­clud­ing South Perth, Bayswa­ter and Al­fred Cove high-rise, By­ford sub­di­vi­sions or western sub­urbs re­de­vel­op­ments of shop­ping ar­eas.

#ScraptheDaps chair­man Ron Nor­ris said the changes ig­nored those wanted by DAP op­po­nents who saw residents and coun­cil in­ter­ests be­ing “sub­sumed” by de­vel­op­ers’ de­mands that com­plied with plan­ning schemes but did not rep­re­sent com­mu­nity val­ues

“It can take 10-15 years to amend plan­ning schemes or in­tro­duce new schemes, and coun­cils sim­ply can­not keep up, and their com­mu­ni­ties are suf­fer­ing as a re­sult, so the DAP sys­tem ben­e­fits only de­vel­op­ers, and that re­mains un­changed,” Mr Nor­ris said,

Op­po­si­tion plan­ning spokes­woman Rita Saf­fi­oti wel­comed the Gov­ern­ment ac­knowl­edg­ing DAPs were “not per­fect” in its “last-minute changes be­fore the elec­tion”.

Ms Saf­fi­oti said her party wanted more “trans­parency, ac­count­abil­ity and con­sul­ta­tion with com­mu­ni­ties” by DAPs.

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